MILL VALLEY, Calif. - Owning a pet can be expensive. So many of us, especially those on fixed incomes, just can't adopt a pet. What if you could get a pet that was guaranteed to not have any vet bills?
It sounds funny at first - trust fund cats - but it is serious business that is doing some serious good.
Lynda Kline adopted her cat, Ayngel, about a year ago. "She loves to cuddle in my lap and the company is great for me," Kline said.
Kline lives on a fixed income and never thought she would be able to afford a cat. But she wanted one so badly she would surf the internet and dream.
"One day, I couldn't resist going on Pet Finder. Lo and behold, I saw something I have never seen before - a cat with a trust fund," she said.
That's right. Ayngel is a trust fund kitty.
"Yeah, people without pets are going to make fun of it. People that adore their pets are going to go, 'Oh my God! I've got to get one," Sarah Haynes said.
Haynes is famous around Marin. She owns Kitty Charm School, a Mill Valley cat hotel. On the side, she works to find lost cats and place found cats into loving homes. Some of these cats have trust funds.
"So I was gifted a cat with a severe bladder condition and potentially bladder cancer, and that family left me $20,000 because they wanted to make sure that this cat was forever taken care of. And she was young enough that she could live for another 10 years," Kline said.
That cat was Ayngel. Her trust fund has paid for all of her vet bills and even covered the cost of a safety screen in Kline's apartment.
No money is paid directly to Kline. There isn't a clearing house for trust fund animals, so if you are interested in adopting one, you need to ask animal advocates and check at local shelters.
If you love your pet, Haynes said you should set up a trust. "You want to make sure you have somebody that really understands your feelings, that you've talked to them in advance, and you put your feelings in writing. And then leave them whatever you can," she said.
Which takes us back to Kline and Ayngel. "I never knew it existed. I felt like a miracle had happened for me. So I think it's wonderful," Kline said.
Want a trust fund cat of your own? Two trust fund kitties, Olive and Sammy, are available for adoption. These two felines have $3,500, are very social and loving, and would need to be adopted together. You can adopt them by contacting Kitty Charm School in Mill Valley by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 415-389-MEOW.
Watch the video below for more information about trust fund kitties and to learn more about Olive and Sammy!